DrupalCon 2011 Sessions that Might Interest You

As I mentioned at the LIS staff meeting, one of the great things about a conference that is put on by an organization that really wants people to pick up and use their software, rather than an organization that organizes conferences, is that they’re willing to make the information from the conference available to anyone. All of the sessions from DrupalCon are now available as streaming video on the conference website. This was also the case for last year’s conference in San Francisco.

Most of the sessions are only interesting to people actively writing code for Drupal. Complicating things, we run a custom module (Monster Menus) that is only run by two sites in the world and radically changes how people editing our site interact with Drupal. Because of this, most of the sessions either won’t be interesting or won’t apply to how you use Drupal at Middlebury or MIIS. I’ve picked out a few that either cover general themes about websites or apply to specific parts of Drupal that we use.

Keynote Speeches

  • Clay Shirky talked about how to involve the people who use your website in the development of its content and design. Audience: content managers.
  • Jared Spool discussed usability, user experience, and how to develop systems that take advantage of people’s knowledge. Audience: interface designers.
  • Dries Buytaert talked about the Drupal 7 release and the roadmap for future versions of Drupal. Audience: people interested in where Drupal will be in two years.

Using Drupal

  • Webform 3: The Survey Tool for Drupal: We upgraded to Webform 3 for our site last November. This session goes through the new features of Webform 3 (branching logic, email templates, and reporting) with over a half hour of examples.
  • Teaching Drupal: Creating Effective Drupal Training Materials for Clients, Employees, and the Public: I don’t need to add much of an explanation to this title except to say that the presentation covers both general and Drupal-specific topics.
  • Media: This has nothing to do with our current site. The Media module for Drupal 7 is brand new and still being heavily developed. This session gives you a look at where media (image, document, video) management is heading in the future with Drupal.

Design

  • Design for Mobile: An overview of design challenges for mobile device applications that touches on Drupal.
  • Making Beautiful Maps: We’re going to be working on an update to our Campus Map this Spring. I haven’t had a chance to watch this presentation yet, but I’m very excited to learn about how we can take the map interface beyond the default tiles that Google Maps uses.
  • The type revolutionary’s cookbook: You’re probably reading this sentence using Verdana or Arial as a font. This session discusses how that is going to change very soon as websites can now start to render text in fonts that you don’t have installed on your home computer.

If you find something in the larger list that you found particularly interesting that I forgot, point it out in the comments.

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